Front End Loaders
A front end loader is an earth moving tractor-type of machine that is fitted with power tilting shovels or buckets in the front of it. The loader is used to scoop various types of materials such as loose soil, earth, snow and debris and dump it to another location or into a truck for removal. The loader buckets can hold about three to five cubic meters of material and are fitted on to movable arms and they may also have wedges for digging into soft soil or small rocks. Front end loaders are not really very efficient diggers as the depth to which they can dig to is relatively low. The bucket can be changed and other attachments like balers, plows and rakes may be attached may be attached to the arm.
Front end loaders have relatively light frames and the control of these machines makes them ideal for use in crowded urban construction sites. Unlike bulldozers, most front end loaders move about on wheels and not on tracks. The wheels provide the vehicle with better mobility and speed they do and do not do any damage to paved roads. Front end loaders are steered by a hydraulically actuated pivot point that is located precisely between the front and rear axles. This enables the front axle to be solid and allows it to carry a heavier load. The rear axle design also allows the vehicle to travel smoothly over rough terrain.
There is a wide variety of models and sizes of front end loaders available and only trained operators should drive them. Front end loaders are specified by their loader bucket capacity in cubic feet, their engine horse power, their number of gears, their bucket width, and their vehicle weight, etc. The driver can sit in a cabin with transparent acrylic windows that provide an obstruction free view. The cabin is located atop of the vehicle. In construction applications, front end loaders are used to move rubble over small distances or to dump debris into a truck or tractor. In mining applications, the front loader is sometimes used to carry ore, equipment, and move various types of debris, etc.